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Category: Science (Page 1 of 3)

Andrej Karpathy’s introduction to Large Language Models (LLM)

This is a 1 hour introduction to Large Language Models (LLM), the core technical component behind systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Google’s Bard.

What they are, where they are headed, comparisons and analogies to present-day operating systems, and some of the security-related challenges of this new computing paradigm.

[1hr Talk] Intro to Large Language Models

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Women Peace Security Index for 2023

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

This fourth edition of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranks and scores 177 countries on women’s status. The results show that countries where women are doing well are also more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and better
prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This year, nine of the top ten best countries to be women are European, with Scandinavian countries leading the rankings. Denmark leads the 2023 rankings, scoring more than three times higher than Afghanistan.

1 Denmark
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Finland
4 Iceland
4 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Austria
9 Netherlands
10 New Zealand

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The mayor of Pontevedra, Spain is placing pedestrians first

For decades, throngs of cars clogged the cobblestone streets of Pontevedra’s downtown, making this seaside city on Spain’s northwestern tip a hard place to live. Smog, loud noise and narrow walkways drove young families away from a region struggling with a shrinking and aging population.

Family physician turned mayor Miguel Fernandez Lores managed to halt the bleeding by closing many streets to car traffic. Now Pontevedra is a model of success in a growing global movement that’s trying to reclaim streets for pedestrians.

Bloomberg »

This Spanish Mayor Is Putting Pedestrians First

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98% of Europeans breathing highly damaging polluted air linked to 400,000 deaths a year

The Guardian »

Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology – including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations – reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.

The worst hit country in Europe is North Macedonia. Almost two-thirds of people across the country live in areas with more than four times the WHO guidelines for PM2.5, while four areas were found to have air pollution almost six times the figure, including in its capital, Skopje.

Traffic, industry, domestic heating and agriculture are the main sources of PM2.5 and the impact is often felt disproportionately by the poorest communities. »

More than 2000 killed as buildings collapse during earthquake in Morocco [Updated]

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 820 2000 people.

The epicentre was in the province of Al Haouz, in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday, September 8, 2023. There was a magnitude 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

Rescuers were searching for survivors. Casualty figures are expected to rise as the search continues and as rescuers reach remote areas.

NY Times | BBC | North Africa Post | The East African | Euronews | France 24 | Le Monde | Al Jazeera

Death toll in Morocco earthquake rises to 2,000 | DW News

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India becomes 4th country to make soft landing on lunar surface

The Hindu »

The Lander Module (LM) of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, made a successfully landed on the Moon’s surface on August 23, making India only the fourth country after the erstwhile USSR, the U.S. and China to make a soft landing on the lunar surface.

With the successful landing, India also became the first country to land near the Moon’s south pole.

See moment India becomes 4th country to land on the moon

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Bad news for anyone with a brain » Microplastics could trigger inflammation in human brain cells

ScienceAlert »

We’ve utterly surrounded ourselves with plastics. We drape ourselves with them, communicate with them, eat from them, drink out of them, live within coats of them, travel in them and on it goes – amounting to 390 million tons of plastic produced in just 2021 alone. Each of these copious sources shed fragments known as microplastics throughout their useful lives, not just after disposal.

Exposed to elements like rain, wind, and sunlight, these tiny fragments change in shape and structure before finding their way back into living bodies.

Beyond the movie Oppenheimer, lies a deeper narrative

Join Garry Jacobs, President and CEO of the World Academy of Art and Science, an organization co-founded by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, and other notable scientists and thinkers whose creations weren’t just scientific feats; they were profound reminders of the need for human security.

Today, as AI poses new ethical challenges, Garry Jacobs invites us to carry forward the founders’ vision by joining the “Human Security For All” campaign, co-launched by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science.

Oppenheimer: The Untold Story

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Virgin Galactic successfully flies tourists to space for first time

The Guardian »

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, the reusable rocket-powered space plane carrying the company’s first crew of tourists to space, successfully launched and landed on Thursday.

The mission, known as Galactic 02, took off shortly after 11am ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Aboard the spacecraft were six individuals total – the space plane’s commander and former Nasa astronaut CJ Sturckow, the pilot Kelly Latimer, as well as Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor who trained the crew before to the flight.

The spacecraft also carryied three private passengers, including the health and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter, Anastasia Mayers, both of whom are Antiguan.

It’s official. July was the hottest month on record. By far

AP »

July’s global average temperature of 16.95 degrees Celsius (62.51 degrees Fahrenheit) was a third of a degree Celsius (six tenths of a degree Fahrenheit) higher than the previous record set in 2019, Copernicus Climate Change Service announced Tuesday. Normally global temperature records are broken by hundredths or a tenth of a degree, so this margin is unusual.

The United States is now at a record 15 different weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday. It’s the most mega-disasters through the first seven months of the year since the agency tracked such things starting in 1980, with the agency adjusting figures for inflation.

“These records have dire consequences for both people and the planet exposed to ever more frequent and intense extreme events,” said Copernicus deputy director Samantha Burgess. There have been deadly heat waves in the Southwestern United States and Mexico, Europe and Asia. Scientific quick studies put the blame on human-caused climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

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